Happy Feast Day - Corpus Christi or the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Our celebration of the Feast is very different this year. We would, of course, normally be gathered around the table of the Lord in great thanksgiving for all the wonders of God’s love, especially the mystery of communion in and through the sacramental Body and Blood of Jesus.
It is this mystery for which so many of our ancestors in faith died; the mystery in which we are immersed in our early years; the mystery which accompanies us through all the key moments of our lives, especially when we gather to commend our loved ones to the Lord; and, please God, the sacrament which accompanies us on our own final journey.
But for now …. We remember the underlying truth articulated by St Thomas Aquinas:
'The only begotten Son of God, wishing to enable us to share in his divinity, assumed our nature, so lhat by becoming man he might make men gods.’
We share in the divinity of Christ through our sharing in this sacrament and by living out the fulness of the sacrament in all parts of our lives:
- in our prayer at home, on our own and with our family
- hopefully, soon in private prayer in our churches
- supporting the vulnerable across the world
- in recognising the divine presence in each other - and in everyone we meet
On which note, I was struck by a little piece in the newspaper by Anne-Marie Duff, the actor. I don’t know her faith background but her mother sounds to be a woman of quiet understanding.
“Just turn up”. That’s what my mum used to say. Don’t cross the road to avoid someone in trouble. Just be there, even if you don’t know what to say.’
That is being part of the broken Body of Christ - that is where we must be these days.
We will meet at 10.55am for Mass on Zoom - a lovely way to stay in touch with the community in which we find that Body. There is a pastoral letter from Bishop John this morning and I will circulate it later.
Mass will begin with this hymn - but probably not with us all joining in on-line - it clogs the system
Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.
King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.
Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.
At His feet the six winged seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Lord Most High!
We will finish with a solo singing of Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus
Please stay well. The time will come when we can gather as one Body in the flesh but for now we are most certainly one Body in the Spirit.
Let’s continue to remember in our prayer today all those who care for the sick and all our frontline workers:
Joseph, Lisa, Patrick, Chris, Catherine, Anne, Terry, Mark, Theo, Clare, Richard, Anthony, Jane, James, Andrew, Mary, Francis, Ruth, Tony, Sue, Dan, Fiona, Katy. Ian & Bethany
St Joseph, guardian of our parish, ray for us